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- Before you read (or read it again). Get a pencil and jot down which “alphabet” stanza was your favorite. Vote at the bottom.
The LONGEST chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, 176 verses. It is so good we are going to break it into 2 readings. We don’t know who wrote it but this psalmist was seeking wisdom (possibly Ezra).
This psalm contains a reference to God’s Word in almost every verse (except 1, 2, 3, and 115, is addressed to God. If you like to look for patterns or underline keywords, here are some to look for:
- “Way” and “ways” describe the pattern of life God chooses for us. It occurs 13 times
- “law”-refers to the teaching in the first 5 books of the Bible- occurs 25 times
- “testimony” or “decrees”-referring to God’s standard of conduct for us occurs 23 times
- “Precepts”-your obligations as a follower. (This word is always plural)-occurs 21 times
- “Commandments” -a definite authoritative command- occurs 22 times
- “Judgment” or “ordinance”- refers to a judicial decision from a binding law-occurs 23 times
- different responses to God’s “Word”, such as “keeping or obeying it” – occurs 39 times
There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet and you will notice this is an alphabetic acrostic psalm with 8 verses per stanza. In verses 1-8 each line begins with the first Hebrew letter, in verses 9-16 each line begins with the second Hebrew letter, you get the picture. 22 letters and the translated word for “Yahweh” is used 22 times.
The basic theme of Psalm 119 is the practical use of the Word of God in your life as a believer. Do you want wisdom? Wisdom is reading God’s word and applying it.